Alex, A&R/New Music Lead, Picks:
Quite possibly one of the coolest exclusives we’ve had - famed Italian composer Piero Umiliani’s Grazie! is an insane compilation of his funkiest jams. I was blown away by this comp and think you will be too.
Toulouse’s Extended Plea is one of the most exciting bodies of work I heard in 2016. The album ranges from heartfelt ballads to certified bangers. He’s our newest Rising artist and I can’t wait to get my hands on this one.
The title of this album is so apt because Sufjan Stevens is one of the greatest gifts we as music lovers have been given. The album is filled with remixes and demos, all from his Carrie & Lowell era. They’re all fantastic and his features (notably Heldo Negro) are well suited for the tracks they mess with. Also it’s on pretty yellow vinyl.
Jesse, Office Manager, Picks:
This album is definitely one for the bass driven generation. The majesty of Perry is still alive and well since the original Super Ape was released forty one years ago taking Jamaica by steamy, tropical storm. This companion album holds true to those classic Black Ark vibes while getting punched with some newly influenced low electronic beats. The boys bring in some outside help on a few tracks, my favorite being "Underground Roots" with Ari Up (The Slits). I almost forgot to breathe listening to this one the dub sound was so fierce. Trust me, the Ape conquers.
Nina Simone was just announced as being an inductee of the 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Little Girl Blue proves this recognition to be more than deserved. There are some real treasures beyond the famous songs most of us have heard. "Don't Smoke in Bed" is one of the shortest in regards to lyrics, but it will haunt you the longest. Even when Nina is singing the saddest of blues, her soul will remind you to be optimistic somehow. "Good Bait" really showcases how well she was trained in classical piano and makes you feel all the feels. Simone’s breathtaking talent as a pianist alongside her emotionally mature voice will have you playing this easy-listen over and over again and enjoying it every time.
Maybe it's because the Kentucky runs deep in the both of us but I honestly feel like anything Jim James touches turns to gold. That being said, I wasn't surprised that all the tracks on this album sound fresh and original, even when it's a Dylan cover. I know, do we really need another cover album? YES. James turns a Sonny and Cher song into a Jim and James song, harmonizing with himself and it's amazing. Nobody wants to encourage another man's sadness, but this one always seems to create some beautiful things out of grief. I think this album is a result of Jim James working through the hard times that are coming down on us all right now, and the results are a warm fuzzy bear hug. Hold me, Jim.
Casey, Head Of Engineering, Picks:
If you don't own this on vinyl yet, you should, it's a classic at this point.
Love "Brick Body Complex" on this album and it's not the only good track.
I love Band on the Run but I the more I listen to Ram the more I like it.